Canada Anxieties over COVID-19 and possible PPE shortages prompting some health care workers to draft wills
Coronavirus: Toronto to open 4 child-care centres for essential service workers
The announcement came around one week after the province said the facilities would be opening for front-line workers, with costs covered by the government. "Centres are located across Toronto in existing City-run licensed child-care facilities and staffed by City of Toronto child-care workers," officials said in a news release. READ MORE: Ontario reports 151 new coronavirus cases, 1 death as active cases top 1,100 "Toronto is the first city to receive approval and open these responsive child-care facilities.
She had been putting it off for a while, but after enlisting to be on the front lines in the battle against coronavirus, Michelle Cohen says now it's time to get her will done.
"That's a discussion I had just this week with my husband — and it's something we've all been thinking about," she said in an interview with CBC News. "There's been a lot of discussion about that with colleagues."
The latest developments on COVID-19 in Canada
The latest news on the COVID-19 global pandemic (all times Eastern): 8 a.m. A loud and beloved Vancouver tradition is being altered for the first time in its 164-year history to show the city's appreciation for health care workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19. The Vancouver Park Board says starting tonight and continuing for the month of April, the Nine O'Clock Gun -- a 12-pound cannon in Stanley Park fired every night at 9 p.m. -- will be fired two hours earlier, at 7 p.m.
Based in Brighton, Ont.,and mother of three. She works at a local family clinic and hasn't yet been called for hospital duty but is on a list at Trenton Memorial Hospital of those who will be drafted as needed.
She and the more than 43,000 other members of the Ontario Medical Association received an email March 24 with tips and resources for updating wills or writing a first will. The association said it compiled the resources in response to queries from its members, who include physicians, medical students and retired physicians.
Cohen says there's an ominous feeling among many of her colleagues already treating COVID-19 patients that they may run out of the equipment that protects them from contracting the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, such as masks.
Supply-line disruptions could cause Canadian drug shortage
OTTAWA — Canadians should brace for possible drug shortages as COVID-19 disrupts global supply lines, the federal health ministry's top public servant says. A lack of medications to fill ordinary prescriptions is an ongoing issue in Canada, but deputy health minister Stephen Lucas says COVID-19 is worsening the problem. "We anticipate there will be shortages of health products given the global demand," he told the House of Commons health committee. The government has a team dedicated to addressing the problem, he said.
"I'm pretty scared for myself and for my colleagues," she said.
Canadaof COVID-19 and at least 340 related deaths so far, and those numbers are growing every day.
1 mask per shift
On Monday, Ontario Premierthat delays in global shipments and restrictions at the U.S. border have "severely strained Ontario's inventory" of masks and left Canada's most populous province with "roughly a one-week supply" of critical personal protective equipment.
Cohen says she's hearing concerns about protective equipment from colleagues not just in Ontario but across the country.
"That they don't have enough at their hospital; that they're being told to ration; that they're worried about running out of protection or having to reuse dirty equipment."
, some major Toronto hospitals are already rationing surgical masks — in some cases even urging nurses and other front-line staff to use just one mask for an entire shift. Similar conserving of PPE is being reported at hospitals in B.C.
Ford says Ontario has enough health-care protective gear for one more week
TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says recent restrictions on shipments at the United States border have left the province with just one more week's worth of personal protective equipment for health-care workers. Ford told a few media outlets that a shipment of nearly three million masks was held up at the U.S. border over the weekend. In a statement today, he says Ontario is ramping up its own production of personal protective equipment, but most of those supplies are weeks away from being in the hands of front-line health workers.Ontario reported 309 new COVID-19 cases today, including 13 new deaths.
At Vancouver Coastal Health,issued just over a week ago instruct all staff who have direct contact with patients to wear a mask at the beginning of their shift but not to change that mask between patients — which is what is normally recommended to preserve the integrity of the mask and ensure full protection.
"Change your mask if it is visibly soiled, damp, damaged for safe use and immediately perform hand hygiene," the healthy authority's guidelines say.
Medical staff should change their masks during breaks and when leaving the patient care area, the authority said.
A recent memo sent to Hamilton Health Sciences in Ontario with similar guidelines set off alarm bells, according to Doris Grinspun, head of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO).
WATCH | Health care anxious about coming surge of COVID-19 patients:
She says she alerted the provincial health minister about directives suggesting emergency department staff should be using surgical masks until they are "grossly soiled or wet," with even N95 masks only being replaced when meeting that criteria.
Why you shouldn't go for a drive during the COVID-19 pandemic
Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health is urging people to stay off the roads as much as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to use common sense to minimize the number of trips they do make. Dr. Robert Strang said the health-care system is currently stressed, and fewer people out driving means medical workers likely won't have to deal with as many motor vehicle crashes. "You may think it's OK getting in your car and driving about, but the fewer people we have on the roads means fewer trips to gas stations," Strang said on Sunday. "It also means less chance of an accident.
Grinspun says she was livid when she heard about the memo from her members.
"Would you send a fireman without a hose and tell them to use their hands?" she said. "That is inviting people to get sick, health workers and patients. Nine million masks a week is what we need so the staff can focus on providing care, without fearing they will get the virus themselves, or that they're giving the virus to colleagues and patients."
Grinspun says that already, several nurses she knows are either in isolation or are ill with COVID-19 at home.
"I have one colleague in ICU, because she didn't have a proper mask."
In Quebec, a nurse whoon the condition of anonymity said Montreal General Hospital ran out of certain sizes of N95 masks last month, and at one point, it had no protective face shields left. To protect their eyes, nurses on her unit wore goggles instead of face shields, the nurse said.
Annie-Claire Fournier, a spokesperson for the McGill University Health Centre, which runs the hospital,in an email that there is no mask shortage at the hospital.
Canada Goose to produce 100,000 gowns for health-care workers
Canada Goose says it is ramping up its production of personal protective equipment to help health-care workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, with plans to produce at least 60,000 hospital gowns per week. The move steps up its commitment from March 25, when the company announced it would use its manufacturing facilities in Winnipeg and Toronto to make scrubs and gowns, with an initial goal of producing 10,000 units. The company says it will do the work at cost, producing 60,000 L2 gowns per week, up to 1.5 million in total, as part of a contract with the federal government.
"This is a priority for us, and the current inventory meets our needs and is monitored on a daily basis," she said.
Hospitals across the country have been accepting donations of protective equipment, and some have reached out to manufacturers in their communities to see if they can meet the demand.
in Northern Ontario did a call-out in March, saying "all critical supplies are in short supply, and we are investigating all innovative opportunities to secure additional equipment."
WATCH | Ontario Premier Doug Ford optimistic disagreement with U.S. over PPE will be resolved:
Attached to the statement was an approved pattern for sewing masks, so members of the community could start making masks and dropping them off at the hospital's main entrance.
Olympic gold-medallist and medical studentsent out a message on Twitter requesting masks, gloves and gowns for frontline workers in Toronto. The quantities listed by the Olympian included 1,350 N95 masks and 13,500 surgical masks.
"The federal government, as I say, was a little slow," said OMA president Dr. Sohail Gandhi.
He says he regularly hears concerns from physicians about PPE, and more recently, it has been resulting in the closures of some outpatient clinics.
"The outpatient clinics keep people from going to the hospital, and we need to figure out how to distribute the supplies in a fair and equitable manner so the hospitals get what they need, and outpatient clinics get what they need," said Gandhi.
COVID-19: One-facility-only rule for long-term care workers now in place
Health-care workers at long-term care homes now have legal support to ensure they don’t have to work at more than one facility during the COVID-19 outbreak. On Thursday, provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said “as of today it is official” that health-care workers of all kinds can work at a single site only. This is enforceable under the Public Health Act and Emergency Programs Act, she said. The directive is aimed at workers in the long-term and assisted-living sectors, who often work at multiple sites. Henry said 92 long-term care workers had COVID-19. “We recognize that residents of long-term care and assisted living are very vulnerable to COVID-19,” Henry said.
On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saidwere on their way to Canada from China on a chartered cargo flight.
"We are also working with provinces to transport their medical supplies when possible," said Trudeau.
WATCH | Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reacts to clampdown on mask exports:
When will they see equipment?
Meanwhile, the country is preparing for moresolutions to manufacture more PPE, with Ottawa signing deals with three Canadian companies to make critical equipment, such as ventilators, masks and test kits.
So far, there's no clear timeline indicating how soon any of these supplies will reach hospitals.
"It's not often that we think about our own safety," Cohen said. "We do tend to kind of have this culture of self-sacrifice … We feel like the job is so much more important than our physical needs so much of the time."
In the meantime, she says she's waiting for information on when medical supplies will reach her colleagues across the country.
"If we're being asked to do something that's not safe for us, our families, our community and our patients, I think people are going to start to wonder whether or not this is the right thing to do ... No one signed up to be on a suicide mission."
WATCH | What to know before you put on a mask to protect against COVID-19:
Ontario reports 411 new coronavirus cases, including 31 deaths as total cases top 6,600 .
Health officials in Ontario reported a continued increase in cases of COVID-19 Saturday. The death toll has now risen to 253.The death toll has risen to 253.
GMSA Weekends : Mar 29, 2020
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